STROKE IS A BRAIN ATTACK!  If you think you or someone you love is having a stroke, CALL 9-1-1 NOW!

Stroke Awareness

Images of Brain Attacks

Learn More About Stroke

The first thing to know about stroke is that you need to act F.A.S.T. once you recognize the symptoms.

Once you recognize the symptoms CALL 9-1-1 immediately.  The sooner a stroke patient can be transported to the hospital, the faster the medical team can determine whether it is a stroke.  If, it is in fact a stroke, the doctors may either unblock the blood vessel or remove the clot causing the stroke.

What are the different types of stroke?

Ischemic Stroke

Most strokes that occur are ischemic strokes.  When this happens, the blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain is blocked by a clot.

Symptoms of an ischemic stroke include:

  • Vision impairment or blurred vision
  • Slurred or garbled speech
  • Dizziness, trouble walking, instability
  • General confusion or cognitive impairment

 

Causes of Ischemic Strokes

Plaque (a fatty substance) collects in the arteries which narrows or blocks blood flow and causes an ischemic stroke.  The process is called arteriosclerosis and when it occurs, an ischemic stroke is the result.  Additional health issues can also contribute to the cause of an ischemic stroke such as:

  • Blood clotting
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Heart valve problems
  • Blood vessel damage

 

There are two types of ischemic stroke.

  • Thrombotic Stroke – caused by blood clots in the arteries that supply blood flow to the brain
  • Embolic Stroke – this happens when a clot forms in another part of the body and travels to the brain, ultimately stopping the blood flow
Stroke Education

Transient Ischemic Attack,
Mini-Stroke (TIA)

This type of stroke is caused by a temporary blockage in blood flow to the brain.  The symptoms can go away quickly or within 24 hours.  The symptoms are similar to a ischemic stroke and is usually a warning sign that other health related issues are present.

It is important to address the underlying health issues to prevent a more serious stroke episode later.

Hemorrhagic Stroke

A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when bleeding in the brain damages the cells near the bleeding.  This type of stroke requires immediate medical attention in order to mitigate the damage caused by the stroke.

Common Causes Include:

  • Aneurysm (a damaged area in the blood vessel that breaks or busts)
  • Injury or accident
  • Blook vessel disease or damage
  • High blood pressure
  • Bleeding disorders

 

There are two types of hemorrhagic strokes:

  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage stroke happens in the area between the brain and the skull
  • Intracerebral stroke happens when the bleeding occurs inside the brain

 

The symptoms of the hemorrhagic stroke include:

  • Severe headache
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Fainting
  • Blurred or impaired vision

Brain Stem Stroke

This type of stroke happens in the brain stem.  It causes paralysis below the neck and the person is usually unable to speak.

The Symptoms Include:

  • Paralysis or “locked in” syndrome, only the eyes can move
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Passing out
  • Slurred or inability to speak
  • Dizziness or loss of balance

 

Causes of brain stem stroke include:

  • Head or neck injury damaging blood vessels
  • Hemorrhages
  • Blood clots

Silent Stroke

The silent stroke is difficult to detect and some people don’t even realize they have experienced a silent stroke.  It usually requires a brain scan or a doctor’s diagnosis to detect.

The Symptoms Include:

  • Some level of memory impairment
  • Possibly difficult to get around easily

Stroke Prevention

Upwards of 800,000 people suffer from a stroke each year in the U.S. 

About 28% of that group represent patients who suffered a second stroke.  Many people can prevent a first and second stroke by following some basic steps toward a healthier lifestyle.

  • Regular Checkups – It’s critically important to keep up with an annual checkup. The physicians and nurses will check your vitals, take blood samples and check your heart and lungs for normal function. They will also prescribe any medicines required to regulate cholesterol and blood pressure if necessary.  The annual physical is your first line of defense to monitor any unusual health issues related to the heart and lungs, which directly effects a potential stroke

There are other things you can do to prevent a stroke:

  • Control Diabetes – Since diabetes can adversely affect blood vessels in the body and the brain, it is extremely important to always monitor your blood glucose and insulin levels

 

  • Heart Health – Heart problems can occur at any time and blood clots can form and break loose causing a stroke if a patient has heart disease. Following a physician’s advice and taking the proper heart medicine can help prevent a stroke

 

  • Smoking – Smoking is among the leading causes of stroke. Smoking can lead to the build up of fatty substance in the blood which can lead to blocked arteries.  Smoking causes both heart and lung disease in addition to leading to stroke.  If you smoke, you should quit as soon as possible
  • High Blood Pressure (hypertension) – High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of stroke. If you have high blood pressure, work with your doctor to bring your blood pressure numbers in line as soon as possible.  Medicine, diet and exercise will all contribute to lowering high blood pressure

 

  • Exercise and Diet – It is critically important to pursue a healthy lifestyle. Both exercise and diet will contribute to keep a health weight and a healthy heart. Work with a nutritionist and your doctor to develop a diet

Want more information about SAO or want to help?

We need volunteers and donations. Call 541-323-5641 ext 347, or email admin@strokeawarenessoregon.org